What are Advanced Directives?
Advanced directives could be a living will or a durable power of attorney for health care (also called a health-care proxy). Either document allows you to give directions about your future medical care.
It's your right to accept or refuse medical care. Advance directives can protect this right if you ever become mentally or physically unable to choose or communicate your wishes due to an injury or illness including: irreversible brain damage, permanent coma, and or terminal illness.
Advanced Directives Can Help:
You protect your right to make medical choices that can affect your life.
Your family avoid the responsibility and stress of making difficult decisions.
Your physician by providing guidelines for your care.
The 2 Types of Advanced Directives
1. Living Wills
Theses are written instructions that explain your wishes regarding health care if you are terminally ill or in a permanent coma, and are unable to communicate. They're called living wills because they take effect while a patient is still alive.
2. Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
In a written document, you can name a person (called a proxy or agent) to make decisions for you if you become unable to do so.